Beware, It’s ‘inevitable’ Trump Will Stage His Own ‘Reichstag Fire’ To Salvage his Presidency

The 1933 burning of the German Reichstag was used as the pretext for Hitler suspending civil liberties, cracking down on the Communist Party and other opposition parties and groups which then led to the consolidation of power by the Nazis and the unspooling horrors of WW II. While a mentally troubled Polish communist was convicted and executed for the fire, there is strong evidence that the Nazis were the ones who set the fire. Such emergency situations are part of the blueprint for all authoritarians. (National Archives and records Administration/Wikimedia Commons)   By Sarah K. Burris The Raw Story (5/1/17)…


The Bee All And End All: One-Third Of The Food We Eat Depends Upon Rapidly Declining Bee Populations

    BBC (4/4/17) Bees pollinate and can detect bombs and compose music. What would we do without them? The world owes a debt of gratitude to this hard working but under-appreciated insect. One third of the food we eat would not be available without bees, meaning our lives would be unimaginably different without them. Bee populations are dropping by up to 80% in some countries and the consequences are potentially catastrophic. The use of neonics pesticides in farming has been one of the main causes in the decline in bee numbers and now the farming world is having to…


The Russian Monitor – Things Are About To Get Interesting

  By DanPeak The Commoner Call (5/4/17) Dear Fellow Readers, “I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough!” – Richard Nixon’s 1974 State of the Union Address. And one week later the US House of Representatives authorized the Judiciary Committee to investigate impeachment charges against Nixon. Over at MSNBC Rachel Maddow predicts, “Things Are About to Get Really Interesting.”  By the time you are reading this we may have more to chew on. As I type FBI Director James Comey is speaking…


Man-Child In Gilded Crib Betrays His Supporters While Bumbling America’s Destiny

“How is it Trump seems to care the least for the very folks who voted for him? Not a day passes that he doesn’t betray some of them. “And instead of bombing another country, how about building our own with better bridges, railroads, highways and airports, how about tending to those who need jobs and homes, how about health care that really gets the job done? “Then we might finally achieve the transformative moment when even Donald Trump at last becomes president for real. But don’t hold your breath. It is foolish to expect anything like this from a man-child…


Olbermann: Trump’s Growing War On The First Amendment

  The Resistance With Keith Olbermann (5/1/17) Wake Up, Wake Up! Trump’s Escalating War on Free Speech Is Directly Targeting You! Link to 8+-Minute Video   Here Is A Real Life Example Of What Olbermann Is Us Warning About…   Woman Found Guilty And Now Faces Year In Jail For Laughing At Jeff Sessions By Clark Mindock The Independent (5/3/17) A woman who was charged with disorderly conduct for laughing during the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been found guilty and could face up to a year in prison. Desiree Fairooz has been convicted for laughing early in…


Empire Files: The Hidden Purging of Millions Of Voters

  Empire Files (4/25/17) With all the discussion of the contentious 2016 election, the most shocking fact is often ignored: that millions of people had their votes stolen through malicious, means. The Republican Party is currently working to purge millions more voters leading up to the 2018 election. To explain this major attack on our supposed democratic process, Abby Martin interviews investigative reporter Greg Palast, who has done the most extensive work uncovering this massive disenfranchisement campaign. Link to Story and 27-Minute Video


This Is America Now: High School Cancels Canada Trip Over Fears Students Might Not Be Let Back In

  By Ashifa Kassam The Guaridan (5/2/17) A high school band in Washington state has canceled a longstanding field trip to Canada over concerns that some of its students may be barred from re-entering the United States. For 18 years, the school band from Kentlake high school has crossed the border to take part in the Victoria Day parade in British Columbia. The Seattle-based school board decided last week to cancel the trip in order to protect students who may be undocumented, said Chris Loftis, a district spokesperson. “You can’t go on a field trip with 100 kids and come…


Thursday Quote Of The Day

When the devil is all around and got you crawling on the ground. On your hands and knees with an apple in your mouth. You will know how far you’ll go to make your peace with God. – “The Devil is All Around” by Shovels & Rope. Link to 4-Minute Video


The Nazi I Knew: Still Spewing His Sewage Of Hate

An old campaign photo of Arthur Jones from his race for Milwaukee mayor. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/1/17) When I was in my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, back in 1970, there was a fiery, oddball upperclassman, named Art Jones. He was a tall, gangly kid with limp dirty blonde hair and a nervous energy that made him fidgety and a fast walker and a faster talker. While looking a bit like Ichabod Crane loping across campus he didn’t particularly stand out from other kids on campus except for one thing: he was…


Worker Notes: Rural America Needs The Support And Organizing Skills Of Labor Unions

Learning and Fighting For Your Rights By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (5/1/17) Collective bargaining is the device that allows workers to join together to improve the return from the investment of their labor. Most anti-union efforts are intentional attempts to splinter worker solidarity to allow a stratification of wages and benefits for the benefit of the employer. By paying off a few lead workers well and treating the rest as replaceable commodities allows employers to set up hierarchies and create systems of secrecy and top-down authority that discourages worker innovation in exchange for short-term paper profits.  As a 40+ year…


A May Day Call: When Corporations Don’t Take Precautions To Avert Workplace Deaths Executives Must Go To Prison

  By Leo Gerard, President of United Steel Workers AlterNet (4/24/17) Every 12 days, a member of my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), or one of their non-union co-workers, is killed on the job. Every 12 days. And it’s been that way for years. These are horrible deaths. Workers are crushed by massive machinery. They drown in vats of chemicals. They’re poisoned by toxic gas, burned by molten metal. The company pays a meaningless fine. Nothing changes. And another worker is killed 11 days later. Of course, it’s not just members of the USW. Nationally, at all workplaces, one employee…


SOLD! Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character

  By Zach Carter HuffPost ((4/27/17) The rumors are true: Former President Barack Obama will receive $400,000 to speak at a health care conference organized by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. It should not be a surprise. This unseemly and unnecessary cash-in fits a pattern of bad behavior involving the financial sector, one that spans Obama’s entire presidency. That governing failure convinced millions of his onetime supporters that the president and his party were not, in fact, playing for their team, and helped pave the way for President Donald Trump. Obama’s Wall Street payday will confirm for many what…


The Russia Monitor: The Time Of The Lying Liars

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/1/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Here’s where we find ourselves. “In the ‘Golden Age of Lying’; Now is the Time to be a Liar. Hasan Minhaj offered the above statement as part of his remarks at the 2017 White House Correspondent’s Dinner this past weekend. He also offered that people trust Trump, they don’t trust the media. The fact is, as Politico points out in What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump, the media does not understand Trump or how to deal with him. I’ll wheel us back within the guardrails of focus…


Fragile Snowflake Republicans Seek To Stifle Protest In UW System

TheCommonerCall.org   By Elizabeth Preza The Raw Story (4/28/17) Republicans in Wisconsin are being called “fragile snowflakes” after pushing a bill which would require University of Wisconsin to punish students who disrupt speeches on campus. The bill would also require the campuses remain “neutral” on issues of public importance. Supporters say its goal is “to protect the freedom of expression on college campuses.” Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told Twin Cities Press that university administration could choose from a range of punishments for students who engage in`“violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, obscene, unreasonably loud, or other disorderly conduct” that interferes…


Monday / May Day 2017

“It was remarked that political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize; in the Trump era, it is the breath of democracy.” – David Smith


Cornel West: The Democrats Delivered One Thing In The Past 100 Days – Disappointment

  By Cornel West The Guardian (4/24/17 The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence of a political party that swings free of Wall Street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times. The neoliberal vision of the Democratic party has run its course. The corporate wing has…


Yikes! New Behind-The-Scenes Book Brutalizes The Ego-Driven Incompetence Of Clinton Campaign That Gave Us Trump

  By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (4/21/17) There is a critical scene in Shattered, the new behind-the-scenes campaign diary by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, in which staffers in the Hillary Clinton campaign begin to bicker with one another. At the end of Chapter One, which is entirely about that campaign’s exhausting and fruitless search for a plausible explanation for why Hillary was running, writers Allen and Parnes talk about the infighting problem. “All of the jockeying might have been all right, but for a root problem that confounded everyone on the campaign and outside it,” they wrote. “Hillary had been…


Obama’s $400K Cash-In Illustrates The Fundamental, Fatal Flaw Of The Democratic Party

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/26/17) OMG, the democrats are just bound and determined to remain ineffectual, irrelevant and teeth-grindingly tone deaf while slavishy devoted to the corporate forces grinding what’s left of America into dust. Even in the face of the existential threat of Donald Trump, congressional republicans and the corporate state coup, former president Barack Obama just can’t resist trotting off to Wall Street to snag his own MOAB (Mother of All Paybacks) by collecting $400,000 for a single speech for the investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Sure, Obama is known for a silver tongue, but…


John Oliver Blows Up The Delusion That Ivanka & Jared Can Save Us From The Incompetence Of Trump

“The apple does not fall far from the orange.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/27/17) John Oliver and his Last Week Tonight team broke through the mainstream fantasy that America – and the world – can depend upon Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner to provide any kind of moderating, reasonable influence on Donald Trump’s impulsivity or casual cruelty. As Oliver noted, if knowing these two children of unearned wealth, privilege and  power have helped you sleep at night you better stay awake. Oliver includes a montage of TV talking heads talking sagely about the graceful, moderating influence…


American Blood Lust On The Boil

  By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call America’s blood lust is boiling. If Trump keeps dropping big bombs and holding press conferences showing his tough authoritarian side, his favorability ratings will top 50% within the next few weeks. Ask yourself if their propaganda is working? Do you believe Assad gassed innocent civilians? If you do, based on what evidence? Do you believe that Trump now loves NATO and dislikes Putin? Again, based on what evidence? Is all this bombing and tough war talk just another distraction from the fact that we have no evidence that Assad gassed people? A distraction from…


The Russian Monitor: Sure Looks, Smells And Seems To Be Unfolding As A Cover-up

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/27/17) Dear Fellow Readers, As the news becomes more confusing by the day, the actual story line becomes clearer. Whatever the veracity of the allegations we are now experiencing Keith Obermann says one thing is becoming clear, It Sure Looks Like a Russian Cover-Up. As Olbermann points out, Nixon was forced to resign because of the cover-up, not the Watergate break-in. Olbermann cites Carl Bernstein of Watergate investigation fame to note, “the cover-up itself might be impeachable”. With a circle of people firing guns into the center of the circle, someone is going to…


Death By Euphemism: Washington Post Can Identify The ‘Far Right’ In France– But When It Comes To The White House, It’s Merely ‘Conservative’

The CommonerCall.org   By Jim Lobe LobeLog.com (4/24/17) There are no major ideological differences between White House strategist Steve Bannon and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Yet it seems that the Washington Post considers them to be very different. According to the Post, Bannon and his backers are “conservatives.” Le Pen and her National Front, meanwhile, are “far right.” Of course, the whole notion that Bannon is “conservative” is ludicrous on its face. A typical “conservative” would not boast of being a “Leninist” who “want[s] to destroy the state [and] … bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of…


There Is Dumb And Then There Is Trump: Merkel Had To Explain EU Trade To Trump ELEVEN TIMES

  The Young Turks (4/24/17) Trump has been bragging about what great chemistry he has with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. http://tytnetwork.com/go “It turns out that Donald Trump is bad at making deals. Yes, the guy who once said “you can’t leave the White House, go to Hawaii and play golf for three weeks and be a real deal-maker. It doesn’t work that way,” is the very same guy who tried to circumvent the European Union and cut a bilateral trade…


Wednesday / April 27, 2017

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind Americans of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” – Martin Luther King Jr.Rev.


Bought & Paid For: Wisconsin State Supreme Court Legalizes Bribery Of The Courts

By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (4/24/17) Yes, indeed, the Wisconsin Supreme Court just ruled that your First Amendment right to free speech would be impinged if you couldn’t bribe …err… support with cash, Wisconsin judges. This should come as no surprise, as our state supreme court is the most expensively purchased court in state history. They are, like so many politicians, nothing more than employees of the far right wing Ayn Randian corporate groups funding their campaigns. The free speech, which isn’t free if it costs money, argument can be fixed by amending the United State Constitution to state…


Duty To Warn: Group Of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump’s State ‘Putting Country in Danger’

By Andera Germanos Common Dreams (4/21/17) A group of mental health professionals gathered at Yale University Thursday to discuss what they believe is their duty to warn the public of the “danger” posed by President Donald Trump. The “Duty to Warn” event was attended by roughly two dozen people and was organized Dr. Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the CTPost writes. Lee called the mental health of the president “the elephant in the room,” and said: “Colleagues are concerned about the repercussions of speaking.” “We do believe that Donald Trump’s mental illness is putting the…


Edward Bernays: Engineering The Consent & Blind Obedience Needed For Empire

  The Empire Files (6/4/16) With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies…


Russia’s New Scapegoats: Brutal Attacks On Gays Increase Amidst Rise In Religious Bigotry

  Reveal / Center for Investigative Reporting (9/24/17) UPDATE, April 22, 2017: In light of recent reports about Chechnya’s anti-gay kidnappings, torture and killings, Reveal revisits stories that expose what it’s like to be gay in Russia. An updated version of the original episode – which includes news of what’s happening in Chechnya – can be heard now. A Russian journalist is murdered in St. Petersburg – not for what he’s reported, but for being gay. Reveal exposes what it’s like to be gay today in Russia, where hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community appears on a daily basis on…


Chris Hedges: Understanding The Right Wing “Christian” Dominionist Movement

“Radical Christian dominionists have no religious legitimacy. They are manipulating Christianity, and millions of sincere believers, to build a frightening political mass movement with many similarities with other mass movements, from fascism to communism to the ethnic nationalists parties in the former Yugoslavia. It shares with these movements an inability to cope with ambiguity, doubt and uncertainty. It creates its own “truth.” It embraces a world of miracles and signs and removes followers from a rational, reality-based world. It condemns self-criticism and debate as apostasy. It places a premium on action and finds its final aesthetic in war and apocalyptic…


Here’s What Christian Dominionism Looks Like In Our Government

  By Brendan O’Conner Fusion.net (4/20/17) First thing in the morning on April 5, before a meeting chaired by Representative John Shimkus and another with the Solar Energy Industry Association, Energy Secretary Rick Perry headed to the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a copy of Perry’s schedule obtained by Fusion. There, Perry was scheduled to meet for an hour-long “Cabinet Member Bible Study.” The schedule does not list who attended that session, but Ralph Drollinger, a right-wing pastor with a long history of ties to Perry and other Trump Administration officials, claims on his web site to…


The Handmaid’s Tale TV Series Includes Scary Scene That Didn’t Appear In Margaret Atwood’s 1985 Novel

By Oriana Schwindt Vice News (4/13/17) Women, men, LGBTQ, black and white and shades of brown, a panoply of the marginalized, all march down the streets holding signs, chanting and shouting. They are met by helmeted police geared to face an army, bearing shields and guns made to take down tanks. It’s a scene that feels ever more familiar these days — until the police actually do fire on the crowd. Panicked protesters flee, sobbing, bleeding, dying. The scene is from Hulu’s original series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s best-selling 1985 novel of the same name, and though…


The Russia Monitor: Finding The Way Through The Forest, The Trees To Treason?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/24/17) Dear Fellow Readers, With a free-ranging flurry of news items the past few days, it’s a good time to reconcile forest and trees. The first link I’ll use is Trump And Russia, The Never-Ending Story, from The Economist and the single best round-up I’ve seen to date even, though it’s a few weeks old. Whispers of treason is the forest; Sean Spicer and GOP distortions are the trees. Trump has spent his first 100 days with a daily run through the china shop smashing as much as possible to distract. Every day…


Worker Notes: The Mass Strike Is Calling Us

TheCommonerCall.org   By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (4/24/17) In the spirit of non-violent change, workers of all-colored-collars are remembering they have the power to make statements by denying their services for a day. May 1st has always been a day to remember the sacrifices of those who went before us to fight for better working conditions, pay, and benefits. Events are being planned to go beyond immediate worker issues to confront the anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-immigrant policies of the Trump/Pence regime. The labor movement in America has its dark and light sides, both of which will explored in the Commoner…


On The NYT Op-Ed Page Climate Denial, Racism & Pro-Torture Don’t Make You Cringe – But Single-Payer Does

TheCommonerCall.org By Adam Johnson Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (4/20/17) The New York Times is the most influential newspaper in the English-language world, not just because of its reach and leadership status within the industry, but because it defines the boundaries of acceptable debate. Being in the New York Times is a legitimizing event, one that cements ideas as not fringe, “other,” or in the realm of the dreaded, career-ending “conspiracy theory.” So it understandably upset many liberals when the Times decided to bestow upon hard-right Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens the ultimate stamp of Acceptable…


Don’t Kid Yourself, Justice Dept. Prosecution Of WikiLeaks Would Threaten All US Journalism

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (4/21/17) In an unprecedented and dangerous move that threatens the press freedom rights of all journalists, the US Justice Department has indicated it is preparing to charge WikiLeaks with a crime and may attempt to arrest its founder Julian Assange. The charges may stem from the publication of US State Department cables in 2010 and their more recent of disclosure of CIA hacking tools. Whether you like or dislike WikiLeaks – especially if you dislike them – it’s important to understand just how dangerous this potential prosecution is to the future of journalism in…



AUDIO: A Must-Listen Survivor’s Guide To Tyranny

  By Christopher Lydon Open Source/ WBUR (3/28/17) Yale historian Timothy Snyder has 20 pills he wants us to take, and keep taking, perhaps to save our country. The stark premise that he laid out for us a month ago is that the real project of Donald Trump and Company is “regime change.” When they mock the legal restraints of “so-called judges” and call journalism “the opposition,” we should understand that they’re test-marketing their contempt for the rule of law and the constitutional protection of critical freedom. So Tim Snyder has written out his pocket-size get-real manual, called: On Tyranny,…


Your Tax Money At Work: Site Logs How Much Are You Paying For Donny’s Weekends Playing Golf & Scarfing Up Chocolate Cake At Mar-a-Lago

Ka-CHING!! A new website – “Is Trump At Mar-a-Lago”– keeps overstretched taxpayers up-to-date on how much money they are forking over for Trump’s almost weekly runs to his super luxury Florida retreat. While regular Americans are working, taking on extra shifts or an extra job while often struggling to make the rent, trying to pay health insurance premiums for their kids or pinching pennies to pay for gas money to get to work, Melania is sunning herself by the pool while the “Bloviating Orange Child” is playing yet another round of golf (my God, does the man have nothing else…


While He Blusters That Nobody Cares, Citizen Demands For Trump To Release His Taxes Grows

By Tom Ashbrook On Point/WBUR (4/18/17) On Tax Day, we’ll look at what a Trump tax overhaul could look like for the country and for you. It is Tax Day. If you haven’t filed, you’d better. Time is short. Americans are pretty good about paying their taxes. And Americans wonder plenty whether their tax system couldn’t be better. Fairer. Cleaner. More efficient. Less abused. Donald Trump said on the campaign trail he knew tax law better than anyone, and was the only one who could fix it. The country’s still waiting. Waiting too for Trump’s own returns. This hour On…


The Russian Monitor: From Tame To … WOWSER!!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/20/17) Dear Fellow Reader, There are two points I’d like to share. I’ll start with the tame; it’s simple and not so controversial. I’ll save the fireworks for the second point. We begin with Sunday in The New York Times, Mike Conaway Emerges From Relative Obscurity To Lead House Russia Inquiry David Nunes stepped down as co-chair of the House Intelligence investigation into election influence by Russia. You might remember Nunes running circles around Washington DC to receive and deliver and report on classified information that might benefit President Trump. His replacement is Mike…